Everyone knows that linkable content wins. The more people that link to you the easier it is for Google to find your site and the higher that you’re going to end up ranking. And there are many types of links that link other sites linking to you, as well as other pages within your site linking to other pages within your site, as well.
When you’re going through your site and you’re optimizing for Google, there are many factors that you need to look out for. But before going into each of those factors, let’s know how Google sees your website. Google looks at your website in code and text formate. They don’t look at your website in a pretty user interface or a pretty design. They don’t see any of that. What you’re seeing on the screen is roughly how they view your own website.
Now that you know how Google views your website, let’s go into the 10 main elements when it comes to on-page SEO.
You know, whenever you do a Google search, you’ll see this purple or bluish text at the top, then a green URL, and then, the black text underneath. The text at the top is titles. That’s your title tag. The middle one, the green, is your URL, of course, that’s the URL of your website or your webpage. And below that is a description. That’s called a meta-description. The title tags impact clicks. If everyone does a search on Google and clicks on the second listing instead of the first listing because the text and the title are more appealing, what do you think that tells Google. It tells Google, hey, everyone finds this second listing more relevant, so let’s move it to number one, and let’s move the original one that was ranked at the top back down to number two.
So you want to make your title’s super-appealing, and the easy way to do this is, you put your keyword close to the front because someone’s, typically, searching for a keyword when they’re on Google, and then, you add a modifier towards the end. A modifier is words like buy, guide, review, online, offers, cheap. Sometimes, you can even include the year. Updated it in, and then, you would .add the year. And we’ve found that, when you add the year, especially, for detailed guides, it drastically increases the click-through rate.
David Ogilvy always said that 80 cents of advertising campaign out of a dollar is spent in the headline. And it’s true. Headlines are super-important. A quick stat for you: Eight of 10 people will read your headline, but only two out of 10 people will click through and read the rest of your copy. So if your headline’s not good, you’re going to lose them and you’re going to miss the main opportunity to get people to your page and read the rest of your copy.
With the headline, here are some formulas, right?
Use a number or a trigger word at the beginning, then an adjective, then a keyword, and then, a promise. Remember, your headline is different than the title tag. This is, typically, the wording, or the phrase, or the sentence, title, whatever you want to end up calling it, that you use at the top of an article, or the top of a page. The title tag is what you show to someone who’s searching Google, and that’s what we discuss in the first point. But a headline is what’s seen on your own website at the top of the page. People read it, they’ll either bounce away or they’ll scroll down and they’ll read the rest of your copy. An example of someone not using my headline formula is, let’s say, how to sell your house. Not that attractive, not that appealing. But things like, how you can effortlessly sell your home in less than 24 hours. People are like, oh, cool, that’s great. I want to get rid of my home. I don’t want to put in that much effort, and I want to get rid of it as quickly as possible. You don’t want to be deceptive with your headline.
Headlines at around six words tend to do better. Use numbers in there. People love numbers. Just imagine yourself going through the grocery store, in the checkout aisle, you see all these magazines. A lot of them have numbers there on the cover. It’s because they know numbers work. Use interesting adjectives. Try negative words like, no, without, or stop. Also, make sure your headline matches the content. If it doesn’t, you’re going to lose trust with your readers or your website visitors. When it comes to headlines, you also want to make sure that you’re getting a ton of shares on social sites like Facebook, or Twitter, or even LinkedIn, and here are some interesting stats for you, is when you’re looking at two-word phrases, the word, how to, generates more shares than any other two-word phrase that we’re seeing, according to BuzzSumo.
The number, or the word, X, or technically, the letter, X, would be replaced with a number such as five, 10, 15, 20. And when you’re thinking, hey, what number should I put in there for X ways, well, first off, however many ways you have. That would be a way to start. And another thing to look at is the total number of shares. When it comes to numbers, the word, five, the number, 10, also do really well, and you can see that on the left graph when it comes to social sharing. And when it comes to the length of your headline, think about headlines that are roughly around six, seven, eight words, 10 words long. They do fine. If you go too long, you’re going to get very little shares and, if you don’t have enough words, you’re not going to get that many shares, either. If you want to get the most amount of shares with your website and your blog posts or your resource pages, make sure you’re using plugins like Social Pug, or Super Socializer. It’s a great way to add the social sharing icons to your site. It doesn’t give you a ton more, but every little bit adds up.
3. First 100 Words
The next thing is the first hundred words on your webpage. Your first hundred words are what Google’s crawling and they’re like, hey, if these are your first words, typically, what you talk about in your first paragraph or two which is where your first hundred words usually are is going to be what the article is about. You would end up having your first two paragraphs have nothing to do what your webpage, your article, is about. That’s why they’re looking at your first hundred words really heavily. And you want to make sure you’re dropping in your keywords within there. And you shouldn’t have to manually force them in or stuff them. It should appear naturally. And, of course, you want to put ones that are more popular, the ones that are least popular, and you can use Ubersuggest. It’ll show you what keywords are more popular than others.
4. Internal Linking
Next, it’s time to make sure that your pages are all interlinked together.
So this is a cool graphic from Google, and they show you how they’re crawling the web. When you’re taking your pages and you’re linking page to page, to page, it allows their crawler, their algorithm, to continually crawl your website and index every piece of content if they see fit. The reason behind, if they see fit, is, if they don’t feel the page is that valuable, they may choose not to index it, or if they feel that the page is, doesn’t have unique content, they may choose not to index it. And internal linking is super-important. Another site that does this is Wikipedia. They rank for almost everything on Google because they’re interlinking everywhere. And you can see it.
Whenever you read a piece of content, you’ll see those blue links throughout their text, because that’s the power of internal linking. It’s what allows Wikipedia to continue to rank higher and higher. As you link to other pages on your site and you cross-link those other pages and those articles to other important pages, what you’ll find is, it can bring up the rankings of your whole site overall. When you’re doing your internal linking, make sure you put in keywords within the link. So, for example, here, you’re seeing keyword-stuffing anchor text. That would be the text of the link.
keyword-stuffing anchor text, help you rank higher. But you need to be careful in not just stuffing keywords. Because if it’s unnatural, it’s not good user experience. It’s not just about adding links and keywords. It’s about doing what’s also best for the user. You’re not just optimizing for Google. You’re also optimizing for users, as well. Typically, if you have a 1,500-word article, you want to aim for at least three to four internal links. A lot of these links may be backing up your claims or linking to other relevant articles and, if you don’t have three or four, that’s fine. Don’t just shove them for the sake of shoving them. Do what’s natural and best for the user.
5. External Link
This is your link to other websites, and also, other websites linking to you. External linking is really important. It also tells Google, hey, you are similar to these other websites. And, if some of them link back to you, or other websites in the same neighborhood link back to you. It tells Google I’m the same niche site and I should be ranked for the same niche-related keywords.
If I had a pet website, and other dog sites link back to me, it would tell Google, hey, this site’s related to pets, or dogs, and you should consider ranking them higher for the dog or pet-related term. Make sure, when you link to the sites, you’re linking to trustworthy sites that are reputable. Make sure their data, their facts, are relevant and accurate because you don’t want to deceive your own users because it’ll reduce how much people believe in you and affect your trust.
6. Short URL
Now, with your website, you also have a lot of pages. Your page all have unique URLs. URL links are really important. When your URL link is around 50 characters, you’ll tend to rank better than if it is 60 characters, or 70, or 80. So try to keep your URL short and to the point. Keep them clean. You don’t want all these crazy words or characters in there. You want to keep it clean, to the point. Use letters, use numbers. This is really important in URLs because the messier it is, what you’ll find is, the lower you’ll rank.
Well, Google will think that your URL is only related to somebody who searches for all those keywords, plus you’ll rank for the long-tail phrases, as well. The long-tail phrase, just as a quick recap if you’re not familiar with that, is when people are doing a Google search for three, four, five-word phrases on Google. With your URL structure, make sure you don’t include dates. Because it’s not relevant to a specific time period. It’s still relevant in the future. So make sure you don’t have a date in your URL. And if you have dates in your URL, you can’t just remove them. You’ve got to remove them and 301 redirect your old URLs, the ones with the dates, to the new ones.
7. SSL certificate
You’ll also want to make sure that you’re using an SSL certificate. Most of the webpages that rank on Google use that SSL certificate. This makes your URL, instead of HTTP, it adds that S at the end. So then, you’ll be HTTPS. You know, when you go to a website and it says Not Secure? Usually, it’s because they’re not using an SSL certificate. So you want to make sure that you’re using an SSL certificate, not only because it helps with rankings, but it also helps with conversions.
General URL Tips
Some general URL tips: Use hyphens, not underscore. Use lowercase text. Use characters that are safe. So no And signs, no Pound signs, no squiggly marks or anything that isn’t letters, numbers, or dashes, to keep things simple. And try to keep you URLs at a max of two folders. Because whenever someone does a search, it may be your domain.com/aword/, and then, another word or two words. The slashes are folders. So you don’t want, ideally, more than two slashes. Sometimes, you have more but try to keep in in that realm.
8. Readability Content
The next tip I want to go over, the next factor is readability. Look, if people are on your site, they’re there to read, and then, figure out if they want to buy, or consume information. But if you’re text isn’t readable, people aren’t going to stick around. Don’t talk above people’s heads. Use short sentences, that way, it’s easier to skim. You also want to use subheadings, you want to use images, quotes, lists, and call to actions. And now, I’m going to dive into each of them a little bit more. So when it comes to images, you want to create images or use images sites where you can get images like pexels.com, for free. You want to try to create your own images when possible. People like custom-made images. Make sure that they’re compressed in size, they’re small. You don’t want them blurry. But there’s a lot of tools out there. If you just Google, compress your image, they’ll compress them and keep the quality similar. So that way, they load faster for people. And you also want to consider the dimensions for social channels, as well. If you don’t consider the dimensions, then what’ll happen is people won’t be able to easily share them on Facebook or LinkedIn. And you want to avoid stock photography when possible. Yes, there are sites like Pexels for free that you can use as a last resort, but they tend not to do as well as custom images.
With your images, you also have to keep in mind that Google can’t see them, right? So you want to use an Alt Tag to describe what your image is. And you can see here, that little code snippet, <img src=”xyz.jpg”. When you’re looking at image sourcing, some sites to also check out is Envato or Graphic River. Those are two awesome sites, as well.
Think of your title, your heading on a page, as an H1, but then, you have subheadings, right? You have the title of your book. That’s like the title of your article. But then, there are also chapters in a book. Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three. Those are what are considered subheadings. And, typically, your subheadings are using H2 heading tags or H3 heading tags. And, if you’re not sure if you’re using them right, you can go to Ubersuggest, type in your URL, and then, on the left navigation, click on Site Audit, and it’ll analyze your headings and all your code for you and tell you what’s wrong there, as well.
With your webpages, call to action is really important when it comes to readability. If your calls to actions don’t stand out in color and they’re not clear, you won’t do well. Make sure, when you’re picking the color, do not use red.
Red is typically a color for Stop, like a stop sign, or a stoplight. So you want to avoid red, but you can use any other color. Just make sure it stands out and there’s a good difference between the color on your page. It makes things so much easier to read and skim.
10. Using Quotes and Bullet Points
Using quotes and using bullet points makes things so much easier to skim. They’re like a visual piece of content that shows people information and images and it makes it easier to understand and skim. And these days, everyone is watching videos. YouTube is one of the most popular websites. It makes up a decent chunk of Google’s market cap. So make sure you’re including videos when it’s relevant. And videos are also a great thing for your leverage. You can get a ton of traffic from videos, as well, because YouTube is the second-most popular search engine.
11. Related Keywords
Another factor to look at is related keywords. Google knows that, when you do a search for Windows, you’re not just looking at Windows operating systems, like Windows 10. You may be looking at older versions like XP, or 8 or 7. And you can see at the bottom of Google, whenever you do a search, it’ll show you other related searches. This is their own latent semantic indexing, and you can also use Ubersuggest when you go to the keyword ideas report on the left side. When you put in any keyword that you’re trying to rank for, it’ll show you all the other related keywords that Google looks at, and you want to try to integrate some of these keywords within your page, as well.
Because if you want to rank for the main keyword, it might as well rank for all the relevant, related keywords, as well. It’s an easy way to get more traffic. The interesting thing is, whenever you do a Google search and you type in a keyword, you’ll notice that it bolds the keywords that you typed in when they’re there on the page, such as How-To, or Apple Pie, or Make, and this allows you, as a user, to clearly see, hey, these pages have what you’re discussing. That’s the importance of keywords, so make sure that you’re including the right keywords within your page, in your title, in your headings, if you want to rank.
Whenever you type in a keyword, and then, you go into the content ideas report on the left side, it’ll show you all the popular blogs around the web that have a ton of social shares. You want to create content around things that are going to be popular. And what’s cool about this report is it shows you what’s already done well. Because, if something has done well, the chances are, it’ll continually do well in the future. If a lot of topics don’t get a lot of social shares, because you can keep going to the next page, and the next page, and the next page, on the content ideas report.
You’ll want to avoid writing stuff that not that popular, and you’ll want to write on more of the stuff that is really popular. What’s also cool about this report, too, is it breaks down the estimated visits and backlinks. The holy grail is writing stuff that gets a ton of estimated visits, a lot of backlinks, and a lot of social shares. If you do that, you can do extremely well.
Thank you for reading.